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The tax office is known as the Inland Revenue. The tax year runs from April 6 to April 5 of the following year. When you leave an employer in the UK you will receive a P45 which states your correct tax rate; this should be given to your new employer. If you do not have one of these when you begin your new job, you should fill out a P46 which is sent off to the Inland Revenue to determine your correct tax. Until this comes through, you will be taxed at a higher rate. If you are a student, and only working here for a few months, it is possible to be tax exempt, but ask around for details and which forms you need.

A P60 is issued at the end of the financial year; it states your gross wages for that financial year. If you are working in the building industry, you will receive a SC60.
Those who haven't worked a full tax year may be entitled to a rebate. The tax-free threshold for the 1998-1999 year is just over 4000 for singles. So if your total earnings for one tax year are less than that amount, you are entitled to a refund of all the tax you have paid. If you have earned more than that, you may still receive a rebate--it just depends on how much money you have earned.

It is advisable to keep a record of all the jobs you've taken and keep all your payslips as well. If you want to know the ins and outs of the tax system, contact the Tax Enquiry Centre (020 7-605-9901) which is specifically set up to explain tax. They prefer new arrivals to pay them a visit, so the correct tax forms can be filled out and the latest information given.

Working holidaymakers either work for an employer under the PAYE (Pay as you earn) scheme, are self-employed, or work through a limited company. Under the PAYE scheme, the 96/97 tax rates are: 20% on wages under 3900, 24% on wages between 3901 and 25,500 and 40% on wages above this, plus 10% for National Insurance. Self employed people will be required to pay their own tax and national insurance contributions. Many working holidaymakers choose to work through a limited company.

Warning: If you plan to use a company to claim some tax back. We recommend you to check them out first.
We usually recommend that you do it yourself, its so simple.  All it takes is a quick phone call  to the Inland revenue plus filling up simple forms, and they will mail the cheque to your home country. . .a child can do it.

Can you help Barry??

Subject: Tax Problem?
Date:  Mon, 25 Jan 1999 17:17:47 +0200
From: (Barry Searle)
To: <>

Dear Gainsborough  Studios manager,

I'm an ex-"working holiday-maker" and having seen your sight and facilities, wish I new about you previously.
I used a tax company by the name of  "Travellers Tax Consultants" to do my tax return and have not received a payment from them although I know the Inland Revenue Service paid them a considerable sum.  Are they a reputable company?
Do you know if they still exist as their contact number does not seem to work?  I am asking you as I know that word gets around in the travel community.
I appreciate your help and hope that I shall get to use your very comprehensive website as an aid to my future travels to the UK.
Yours Faithfully

Barry Searle


Tax Free shopping is available to those travellers visiting the UK for less than 365 days. You must leave within 3 months of purchasing the item(s). In order to reclaim your money, obtain a refund voucher from the shop and when you leave the EU, have the refund voucher and items together so that a Customs Officer can verify the voucher. You can then reclaim VAT (Value Added Tax, about 17.5%) from the refund desk at the airport. Pick up a brochure on tax-free shopping for more details.


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